Daniel Biro

Soho Square: Beauty & the Beast

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Soho Square is composer Daniel Biro's first CD, and also his least satisfying effort. The album presents two instrumental pieces, "Soho Square" and "Beauty and the Beast," both originally written to accompany choreographies by Jane Turner. Biro performs all instruments (piano and synthesizers). Véronique Joly appears on the second piece, adding vocal sounds (kisses, sighs) that don't even give a shadow of an idea of her real talent. "Soho Square" follows an interesting dark atmosphere. The first and last parts are strongly reminiscent of Art Zoyd (although less claustrophobic), mainly because the cyclic lines are backed by synthetic percussion stomping an insisting martial beat. But the repetitiveness doesn't build up to something entrancing, leaving the piece in a state of half-hearted commission. "Beauty and the Beast," although not a bad composition, lacks imagination. The three main movements present a melodic structure, a harmonic structure, and the final fusion of the two. The interpolated "Interplay" sections are synth pop tunes based on a weak theme. Knowing the originality Biro will show in his next albums, Soho Square can only disappoint; it is not inhabited by the composer's vision and stays at the level of an easy soundtrack. It lacks panache. On the other hand, listeners not familiar with avant-garde music will find it his most accessible release.

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